Monday, September 15, 2008


We took walks in Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park in the rain. We got wet, and saw water dripping off of moss growing on trees growing on top of other dead trees. It was a real rain forest experience.

We saw the ocean. Dawn tasted it, and verified that it was in fact salty.

We did the Grouse Grind. It was pretty tiring.

We saw a variety of slugs. Dawn was really impressed by how big the slugs get in Vancouver, and all the pretty colours and patterns they come in.

We met up with some of my old friends on multiple occasions, and took a trip up to SFU.

We ate great food every day. Especially on the occasion of my Grandma's 88th birthday, when Dawn got to experience a big Chinese family dinner. (We suspended our vegetarianism for the day. This is now a rule: whenever celebrating an 88th birthday, we will allow ourselves to eat meat.)

Apart from family events, we went everywhere by environmentally friendly foot, bus, or bike.

Dawn decided she likes Vancouver. I decided I like it even more than I thought I did before. Chicago is a good city, but I'll never forgive it for not catching on to the fact that sushi doesn't have to be really expensive, or for making me have to actually expend effort in order to find some decent Chinese food. Its distinct lack of mountains is also disturbing.


A large wall of dirt in Stanley Park. (Dawn is used for scale.) This dirt is attached to the root system of what used to be a really big tree, but is now just a really big log. One heck of a storm came through Stanley Park in 2006, and ripped a whole bunch of really big trees right out of the ground. Nature sure can be intimidating.


A tree fell over. Some other trees grew out of it. Then the storm hurt them real bad, so their tops got cut off. Eventually other trees will grow straight out of those stumps.

Here we see a tree growing out of Dawn's back, with moss and ferns growing off of that tree.

Halfway up Grouse Mountain, we paused to watch some people taking the easy way up.

Confused trees on the side of Grouse Mountain.

Dawn with her proud face at the summit of Grouse. This is mere days after she saw a mountain for the first time, and she's already gone and climbed one! Behind her we see some of the more touristy bits of Grouse Mountain, bits of West and/or North Vancouver, then Vancouver proper across Burrard Inlet.

Looking to the southeast off of Grouse Mountain. Across the water on the right side of the picture we see Burnaby Mountain, home of SFU, and also decorated by the little white pimple which is Burnaby's oddly-located velodrome.

Richmond night market. The food was good, the stalls were fun, the entertainment was awful. Dear festival planners: Asian guys do not make good MCs, especially when they're ESL. Also, do a better job of auditioning people before you let them sing over your overlyloudspeakers.

Check out that slug. It is larger than Midwestern slugs, and is also festively coloured.

We went a ways off of the trail in Stanley Park, and ran across this fairly magnificent tree with a used syringe stuck in it. This picture really says "Vancouver" to me.


micah said...

We were in Vancouver for part of our honeymoon. It's gorgeous, but as we discovered, with some incredibly dodgy areas right downtown. Our walk from the northwest end of town to a Chinese place for dinner one night took us through one of these areas, and we saw a soccer mom in a minivan drive up to someone who gave her a paper bag of something. Kind of unsettling.

Toby said...

That's the Downtown Eastside, and it's not just dodgy, it's one of the dodgiest neighbourhoods in Canada, if not the entire developed world. A soccer mom picking up some drugs is actually a nice thing to see--her brain hasn't been totally fried, she's not selling her body for drug money, and there's a pretty good chance she's HIV-free--if only the whole neighbourhood could be so lucky.

In the past few years they've instituted some promising programs dealing with the drug problem (and there have also been some possibly not so cool gentrification efforts), and I think the place is less freaky than it used to be. We walked through there, and I was disappointed by how tame it was (I'd kinda hoped to impress Dawn with the hardcoreness of my hometown).